“What do you eat…..air?”
As I was examining the breakfast spread at the Type-A Parent conference one morning carefully picking the few things I could eat from the delicious looking spread this is what a friend said. I know her well and know she was ribbing me so I laughed. It is funny to me, too.
In front of us was an amazing spread of food. Creamy looking brie, serrano ham, freshly baked bread, gorgeous grapes, granola, yogurt, fresh berries, and more. The coffee bar had chocolate shavings, whipped cream (that looked so fresh!), and all my favorite syrups.
I stared longingly at the brie, but passed it up. I was tempted by the chocolate shavings, but instead I had black coffee with a splash of soy milk. The rest of my breakfast consisted of fresh green juice, the ham (sooo good), and some berries.
I know I’m a walking parody.
I eat a ‘free’ diet- as in I’m gluten-free, dairy-free, (mostly) sugar-free, and I have long avoided preservatives, food coloring, and unnecessary junk in my diet.
I don’t eat gluten. That started many years ago. (2010!)
I stopped eating dairy recently. I’ve skipped it for the last 6 weeks. I hardly miss it now-well except the brie. The few times I’ve chosen to consume it let’s just say it doesn’t agree with me.
Inspired by my friend Jo-Lynne who did a sugar detox I’ve stopped relying on sugar for the last several weeks. I drink coffee black. I don’t eat dessert. I avoid it snacks and sauces. Guys, it’s in EVERYTHING. I’m still consuming carbs (I don’t feel good when I solely rely on protein + fruits and veggies), but cutting sugar made a huge difference. I was exhausted for the first 10 days which I assume was my body adjusting, but after that felt much better.
I had a few bites of dessert once while I traveled and snacked on some chocolate (that has very little sugar in it) and found a small bit was plenty. Recently, I tried a pumpkin spice latte (soy, no dairy, no whip). Even with half the pumps of sugar it was WAY too sweet.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s not a diet.
I’m changing the way I eat to suit my body. Food is my medicine right now. ‘Cheating’ only leads to stomachaches, fatigue, skin problems, mood changes, and sleep issues.
I’ve eaten gluten three times in the last year (both knowingly and by accident), and dairy three times on purpose in the last several weeks and while the occasional slip up happens it’s not something I’ll do by choice anymore. Let’s just say it’s so not worth it.
While it may not be for everyone I do think it’s good to challenge yourself so you can reset your body and your taste buds. You may notice when you add certain foods back in they aren’t as agreeable with your body. It’s also a good reset for the ‘why’ we eat. I found I was eating a lot of food because I was emotional. I was literally stuffing my stress into my mouth.
The choices I make now are entirely conscious, and when I choose to veer from my ‘free’ diet it’s because I can and want to in moderation. It doesn’t mean all my work and thought is erased. I’m not back at ‘square one.’ I just made a choice and sometimes that’s okay.
Back to the breakfast. A friend asks, “What do you eat?” Vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, chicken, fish, BACON, avocado, nuts, milks made from coconut or nuts, potatoes, bacon, corn, sweet potatoes, and the occasional beans, and products that are made from those simple components…oh, and bacon. Did I mention bacon?
For travel I carry some items with me to make snacks and simple meals easier. I found a section in our local grocery store that had paleo products which are the closest fit to my diet. I even found macaroons that were delicious despite no added sugar.
In the end it’s a lifestyle change. Not just being conscious about what I eat, but also making long-lasting changes.
I need to be around for a long time-I have a lot of living left to do.